Bar Admissions

North Carolina


Duke University, J.D., with high honors; Order of the Coif; Note and Comment Editor, Duke Law Journal

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B.; John Motley Morehead Scholar


When clients need an advocate with precision and tenacity, they call John Wester. John routinely handles cases with a high probability of going to trial, and he often enters a case after it is underway, including at the appellate stage.

John’s trials and appeals encompass corporate governance and shareholder rights disputes, federal securities and ERISA actions, unfair trade practice and trade secret disputes, tax controversies and employment discrimination. He has prosecuted and defended numerous class action cases in federal and state courts, with extensive experience in the North Carolina Business Court. John has also served as lead counsel in noteworthy cases reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.

Outside his wheelhouse of business litigation, John has brought and defended cases advancing constitutional issues. He was lead counsel in the North Carolina Supreme Court for Gov. Patrick McCrory and former Govs. James Hunt and James Martin in a successful challenge to the General Assembly's limiting the governor's authority over boards and commissions. In 2018, John was lead counsel for Gov. Roy Cooper challenging the General Assembly's proposed constitutional amendment to remove the governor's authority to fill judicial vacancies. 

In 2021, John received the Advocate's Award, the highest honor given by the North Carolina Bar Association's Litigation Section.

John is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the College’s Judicial Independence Committee, having served as the inaugural chair.

In 2009-10, he served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Advocate's Award, 2021
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Citizen Lawyer Award, 2021
  • North Carolina State Bar, John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, 2019
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2018
  • Duke Law Alumni Association, Charles S. Rhyne Award for Professional Achievement, 2017
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Council for Children's Rights, Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, 2016
  • Chambers USA, commercial litigation, 2003-23; labor & employment, 2005-16
  • The Best Lawyers in America, bet-the-company litigation, appellate practice, commercial litigation, litigation - intellectual property, litigation - labor and employment law, litigation - mergers and acquisitions, litigation - securities, 1993-2024
    • Charlotte Litigation - Securities Lawyer of the Year, 2019
    • Charlotte Litigation - Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2013, 2018
    • Charlotte Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2015
    • Charlotte Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2014 
    • Charlotte Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2011
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006-24; Top 10 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2009-13, 2015; Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyer, 2013-22; Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2023-24
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star, 2012-24
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, litigation, 2007-08, 2011, 2013-15, 2019; appellate, 2018-19, 2021-24; employment, 2020-21
  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2021-22
  • Mecklenburg Access to Justice Pro Bono Partners Program, Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2023



News & Events





Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; Judicial Independence Committee, Chair, 2019-23; Task Force on Judicial Independence, Vice Chair, 2018-19; North Carolina Chair, 2004-06
  • Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, 2014-18
  • North Carolina Bar Association, President, 2009-10
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Appellate Rules Committee, Chair, 2002-04; Committee for Judicial Independence, Co-chair, 2010-14
  • Chief Justice's Commission on the North Carolina Business Court, Appellate Process Committee, Chair, 2002-04
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow

Community Affiliations

  • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Board of Directors, 2021-present
  • Higher Education Works, Board of Directors, 2019-present
  • Lynnwood Foundation, Board of Directors, 2007-present
  • North Carolina Museum of History, Board of Directors, 2012-17
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Access to Justice Council, Chair, 2012-17
  • Duke Law School, Board of Visitors, 2002-present
  • University of North Carolina, Board of Visitors, 2004-08
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Directors, 2006-09
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Board of Directors, 1999-2005
  • Arts & Science Council, Chair, 1988-89
  • ArtsTeach, Inc., Chair, 2000-02
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